Ben Shi


The gist

I'm a Software Engineer at Versent, where we help businesses with big hairy problems like migrating off traditional software infrastructures and building out new API capabilities using modern technology.

I was previously afilliated with J.P Morgan, ACI Worldwide, and Distra

An unlikely start

I enjoy coding but it wasn't always what I wanted to do. Growing up I always wanted to be a mechanic, I loved solving problems and taking things apart then putting it back together. But one unfortunate event early on in my life changed all that.

I'm a right hander. One summer afternoon in 2002, I had an accident that severely damage my right arm. It took over 10 hours of surgery and more than 100 stitches to just put me back in one piece. In the following years, I got 2 additional follow up surgeries to help me with my sensations in my arm and fingers. The recovery process was hard but for me relearning everything with my left hand was harder both mentally and physically. It is at this stage in my life I realise that I was probably never going to be a mechanic...

It is around this time, my mother got me my first computer, a Compaq desktop running on Windows ME (yuk I know) to help with my homework. The more I used it the more I became intrigued about how everything worked, from webpages, email and the awful dial-tone we had to listen to just to connect to the WWW.

I learned Dreamweaver with some HTML, built my very first website on GeoCities and the rest was history. In many ways programming is exactly like building and maintaining a car. Coding up a new feature is like modifying a car to look or perform better. Finding a bug is like disassembling a car and zeroing on the problem.

Till this day, I have not gotten 100% of sensation back and I probably will never. But I am extremely blessed to have discovered the fascinating world of technology and programming. There are not many people out there can say they are able to do something they enjoy day in and day out as a career.